Monday, April 9, 2012

The Whole New Me

And so, I think I'm going to move this blog and all my future thoughts to a different location. I'll be posting about candy and housework and writing and reading and cold cereal and stuff like that at

Click over there to read further! Thanks for reading my dithering thoughts here on Blogger. Good times!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sure, now it works! And Jolly Fish and Cereal

Blogger has been giving me the spinning wheel of death in the "compose" box for a couple of weeks. Finally it allows me to blog! My need to spew into the blogosphere has been great, and now that it allows me, I've pretty much drawn a blank.

Meanwhile, I'm getting excited about Big in Japan! I finished all the edits over spring break. Believe me, doing edits while riding for 37 hours in a 13 year-old Suburban filled with five kids, eleven drying out Happy Meals, and a neverending litany of books on CD is a little tricky. I wonder if anything I sent back to my publisher is even coherent.

It seems they still like me, however. I get encouraging emails from them at least once a week. How nice is that? Jolly Fish Press! They're pretty awesome. I wish every writer could find as great a group of people to work with as I've been lucky/blessed enough to find.

Jolly Fish Icon

A lot of my writing friends, both published and yet-to-be-published have been asking me about this publisher. Seriously? I have no complaints at all whatsoever. I've always known I'd prefer to be with a small press, where the team knows the writers, where it's a smaller pond. (Not that I'm some big fish, just another jolly one.) I really like being part of a family-like operation. There are other writers who would prefer to be all New York, and that's great! I can see the merit in that. I'm just more of a small town girl, and a small press fits my personality. If that's you, I say go for it. Query these guys. You've got nothing to lose, and a great group of friends and cheerleaders to gain.

So. Cold cereal. It's still my nemesis. That darned Vanilla Almond Awake. Did I mention I'm running 15 miles a week now? Every week. And do I lose any weight? Nope. Back in the day, John Belushi said, "I owe it all to little chocolate doughnuts." Me? I owe it all to the delicious array of cold cereals that span my hall pantry. I think I need a handful of it now to get me through until it's time to go pick up the kids.

[Geez. Blogger. It won't let me upload the pic of my cereal. Imagine it HERE.]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fabulously Overwritten (without candy)

My friend Lynette found this on the classifieds, an ad for a car. But not just any car.

Click on the link to see the full ad with pics, but I have to copy and paste all the prose because the car is going to SELL and then the fun might be removed from the site. And that would be sad. So sad.
2002 Ford Escort ZX2

Provo, UT    - Mar 12, 2012


For Sale by Owner
Clean Retail NADA value (w/current mileage): $4,825.

Well. The wait is over. The most ballingest car ever is finally on the market. This one-of-a-kind ZX2 coupe is to the limit. And it takes no prisoners.

Thats a double whammy.

Features? Yeah, its got em. Like how about it comes in sparkly, get-rich-or-die-tryin green. That means its camouflaged in the forest or lush fields of grass where you will undoubtedly be taking your lady (or ladies if youre driving this) for a picnic of skewered lamb and frosty beverages. Green = the new whatever color you want. Green = mother natures cloaking device.

Its got privacy glass so you can do whatever the eff you want as you blitz past zombies on the freeway. Plus, while everyone else is looking at each other picking their nose, youll be chillin in a darkened cocoon of comfort and maintaining the mystique and mystery that comes naturally when you own a ZX2.

30+ MPG? Uh-huh. Get out there and explore, Magellan.

Air Con? Check. Keep cool, my brother.

Cruise Control? Oh most definitely. Dont be like everyone else on the freeway with their stop-slow-and-go driving. Lock this baby in at 85 - Utah's real speed limit - and save on the MPGeezle.

Power windows? Power locks? Power steering? Thats a fatty mcfatty yes.

AM/FM, 6-Disc CD changing entertainment extravaganza? You know it.

Leather interior? Rare for ZX2s - but not this one. Because luxury is seats that feel smooth on your butt.

Zippy 4-speed auto tranny? Indubitably.

And before you ask, no youre not dreaming - yes, that is a spoiler back there and yes. . . you want this car. Bad.

This well-maintained and fully restored beauty is a salvage title. It was bought out of an insurance pool after getting into a tiny fender bender (i.e. vicious car cock fight. . . which it won. . . with metal and brawn).

The right front fender was dented, but then replaced by a cadre of men who were born in garages and bottle-fed Penzoil. Basically all that means is now this amazing piece of machinery has more character than your neighbors lame van.

Bottom line: if this car were any more advanced, it would stand up and say 'Autobots, roll out!'

Bless you, Doug, for writing this piece. And selling this piece.

I love this ad. The time and love that went into writing it created a final draft of complete joy for me.

When I was at the ANWA Conference, Matt Petersen suggested that anytime we write something we should consider overwriting. Why? Because in his case he overwrote a blurb for some Disney Princess Halloween costumes and they turned into a freelance job offer. They became the start of his writing portfolio. Pretty sweet.

(As is the car for sale in this ad.)

May Doug get a full price offer.

Oh, and my house smells like a dirty dog. I cannot even stomach the thought of candy. No candy blather from me today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Pudding Slick & Conference Report

So, the other night, I was at my writer's group meeting feeling like I'd earned an evening out with the fun women in my ANWA chapter since I spent the week cleaning my house after, seriously, 18 months of writing non-stop and never doing deep cleaning. I'd even cleaned out the sludgy, sludgy fridge and the microwave that looked worse than the microwave at the end of the school year in a college apartment full of freshman boys.


But when I got home, quite late, I might add, my 11 year old son was still up. He's a corker, certainly one of a kind. "Um, Mom?" Yeah? "I might've spilled a bit of pudding." Oh, that's okay. Wipe it up and it'll be fine. "Um, well, so I tried, but there might be kind of a lot." What do you mean, a lot? "Well, I made a triple batch, and then the bowl dumped when I was putting it back in the fridge." That's fine. Just do your best.

I responded calmly (thanks to the calming effects of my happy writers group), but sent the kid to bed and went over to discover what can only be compared to the Exxon Valdez of pudding spills.

Holy chocolate oil slicks!

My white floursack towels might never be the same. Sigh.

I love that he made the triple batch, though. There's a kid after my own heart. If one box of pudding is good, three's better.

And believe me, if one day of the ANWA Conference 2012 is good, three is better. In fact, this was the best writers conference I've ever been to. So much information was packed into a single weekend, I got home and every time I closed my eyes the great stuff I learned from the presenters was still swirling past my closed eyelids. I had withdrawal for almost a whole week! So fun. Plus, I laughed so hard with the women from my chapter who went with me I almost threw up. Twice. Thank you, ladies!

A zillion things went on. There were agents from NYC and Denver, as well as from SLC for LDS fiction and non-fiction. The senior editor of the Ensign magazine was on hand with a hilarious sense of humor and some good guidance. Great guy, Josh Perkey and his pretty wife with the Disney Princess hair. 

Donna Hatch taught us how NOT to write romance novels.

Larry Brooks gave his spiel on Story Engineering (a book I intend to buy soon!).
Story Engineering
Conrad Storad gave us tips on how to read aloud to children if we get invited to read in schools.

Janette Rallison talked about how to use internal dialogue in our writing to improve characterization.

Dave Eaton--wow! He taught us about outsmarting Google to get our published books to the top of the search engine lists using search engine optimization (which kinda blew my mind.)

Most exciting to me was Matt Petersen's class on how to start up your own freelance writing business. Killer! It made me think, hey, just because I was an English major doesn't mean I can never earn money.

In the bad old days of joking around with my husband, he used to tell me this joke: "What did the English major say to the Engineering major?" What. "You want fries with that?"


And those were just the classes I attended. There were a dozen others. Great stuff. I can't imagine missing it ever in future years. Lots of women pitched their novels to the agents, and I know of at least one who has already signed with the New York agency.

Thank you, ANWA Conference. It was open to members of ANWA and non-members. It was open to men and women. It will be going on again next February. If you can, black out that weekend and make it a priority! So much information, it almost felt like another Exxon Valdez. But a good one.
Well, no more! Now it's, "Do you want me to write the copy for your website and your newsletter and update your blog? Okay, that'll be $350." Sweet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stop the Presses! (And pass the treats.)

Over the last three days I've eaten waaaaay too much of this amazing new cereal treat my friend Sherral invented. Just melt peanut butter and chocolate chips (in any denominations of your preference), combine and pour over raisin bran. Chill and eat. Oh, my, goodness! What a great way to impose my double standard of no-candy!

I love my double standard, and I'm sticking to it.
Image Detail

Last week? Whew! What a ride. I can't believe a lot of it happened. The Centennial Celebration was a blast. I ended up doing a ton of writing about it, and the article I wrote for the local paper featuring our delightful centenarian got some attention from a national outlet. On Monday morning I got a call from the editor and she offered me the chance to redo it for Reuters. Yeah, Reuters, the international news service.

Well, shut the front door.

I reinterviewed her and whipped something up (which had the chance to be revamped almost entirely by the very nice "real" reporter for Reuters) which then got released on Valentine's morning and went out to be published in outlets such as Yahoo News,, and the Chicago Tribune. (I still can't believe the "real" reporter went ahead and put my byline on it. Seriously nice.)

Holy crap. (That's the phrase that went through my head about 1400 times.)

Seriously, that was one of the more traumatic writing experiences ever. But interviewing the lovely LaVona Evans was wonderful. What an honor! She bakes 10 loaves of bread a week. Kneads it by hand. What a woman!

The other exciting wiritng thing that happened was Meridian Magazine published a couple of my essay articles. One was "Seeds Grow in Dirt" which I featured here last Mother's Day. Then on V-Day they ran an essay I wrote about love. I mean, not a love story, but how I really had bad postpartum and got all offended at something a guy said and then had to eat my words and really truly came to love and appreciate the guy.

All in all, it was a whirlwind writing week. And I didn't get a single word done on my NaNo novel, which languishes.

But I'm working on it today. I MUST finish it. I will be the Little Engine that Could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Just probably not before lunch. Or before I eat another three cups of that amazing raisin bran choco-peanut butter stuff.

In Japan they call it peanuts butter. That's cute, right?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting Excited for the Conference

I'm getting really excited for all the fun stuff this month.

Since fall I've been involved in the planning of our county's celebration of the Arizona Centennial. That all comes to fruition in the next week. There will be a parade Saturday and then a variety show on Tuesday, Valentine's Day, the day of Arizona Statehood. It's been great to get to know all the cool people in our community who make things like this happen, who make memories.

The next weekend I'm taking my son to see Wicked, the Broadway show. It's my first time to see it (as we live in a rural area and it's hard to get out sometimes.) We're so excited! He's counting the days, which makes me smile. What a cool kid I've been given.

THEN, the next weekend is the annual ANWA Conference. (Exciting music here, please.) This will be my fourth time to attend, and it is going to be fantastic! I can't believe all the speakers and agents and publishers the organizers have lined up. I'm really looking forward to the critique camp (and am working furiously to finish and polish a portion of my NaNo project to take with me) and to the fun girls-getaway it will be with other writers. I'm excited to see the other women in the ANWA groups that I've met at previous events, and to meet even more people. I'm excited to meet the agents and publishers. Seriously, I thrive on meeting people. It's so fun. Every time I've gone I've come away with information that has changed me for the better in some way, changed my writing, changed ... me. I love it.

So, yeah. Fun in February! A little stressy, but a great time, like Christmas. Very exciting!

Speaking of Christmas, it's almost Valentine's Day. I've heard the day after Valentine's Day referred to as "brown Wednesday" because it's the day all the chocolate goes on sale. I'm still reeling from my overdose of candy on Saturday, but I'm thinking it might be a good time to stock up on Dove dark chocolates for my husband. He loves those things! I mean, who doesn't? Seriously. Good chocolate, at the grocery store. So creamy. So fantastic. Milk is good too. I'm not particular. Give me some of each!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hangover

Um, I think I have a sugar hangover.

How many berry-glace-filled crepes does it take to create this disastrous situation?

Six? Eleven? More?

I stopped counting, so we don't know when the cutoff point would likely be.

Here are the fillings I sampled today at the Primary Brunch:

Strawberry glace (with whipped cream on top)
Raspberry-blackberry glace (more whipped cream)
Granulated sugar sprinkled amidst fresh-squeezed lemon (my favorite)
A cream filling made from cream cheese, sour cream, a smidge of milk, and powdered sugar
Various combinations of the above

Of course, I didn't skip the savory crepes filled with a cream of chicken soup/shredded chicken/sour cream sauce.

There was also a fruit tray, plus a selection of sausage, and a chocolate syrup I completely forgot about.

It was a delicious morning, and an afternoon spent wondering if someone could please bring me a Tylenol. Complete, delicious gluttony. It might be time to reexamine my self-control.

Meanwhile, I'm back on the NaNo attack. I've done another (almost) 20,000 words, and I'm thinking it's possible I'll get the whole first draft done this month (in spite of about a dozen other projects I probably shouldn't have taken on.) I love that when I'm done with the draft I'll actually be able to work on the rewrites so it has a hope of being readable.

Oh, back to crepes again. Every time I make crepes for other people, they act so shocked or impressed, like there's some big mystery to making crepes. Uh, not. I don't make things that are tricky or involved. Here's the recipe I used:

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
2 T oil
2 T sugar

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Heat a small frypan (spray with Pam). Pour in about 2 tablespoons of batter and lift the pan and swirl it until it reaches all around. Cook just on one side. Flip out onto a plate. Place a strip of waxed paper (a thin strip will do) between crepes to make them easy to separate. Serve with any filling. (If you're doing savory, switch the sugar for 1/3 tsp salt.)

Not tricky. Sorry. Now I realize I'll be less impressive now that everyone knows that my ancient Chinese secret (Calgon) is so ridiculously simple. Go make some. But don't OD. I don't recommend it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Japan, Ahhh

I have been thinking a lot about Japan this week. I met the Secretary of State (for AZ) yesterday. He, too, served as a missionary in Japan years ago. We had a brief, stilting (on my part) conversation in Japanese, and he seemed to have adored the country as much as I did.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I was going to check out Google Plus. It's still not capturing me as a social media snag-of-all-my-time, which I should be thankful for, and I might go back and check out my circles sometime, but for now I have to say one really spectacular find did come out of my venture into Google Parts Unknown. It made me stumble across Shoot Tokyo.

Shoot Tokyo is a blog of a guy, Dave Powell, who lives in Tokyo and goes to different neighborhoods and takes pictures and posts them and comments on them. A post a day. So many of his pictures for me are what I'd call in Japanese "natsukashii," or nostalgic~. They make me sigh and wish I could see that beautiful place again.

Maybe a zillion people will buy my sumo wrestling book and I can use the proceeds to take my family to see Japan. Wouldn't that be a dream?

One post of his in particular was a doozie on my nostalgia-ometer. It is of an alley in a neighborhood called Shinjuku, which is where I lived. This is yakitori alley, a narrow, narrow street where they sell yakitori (cooked bird/chicken on a stick. Tender meat, soy and sesame seasonings, salty perfection.) Since I spent so much of my time in that city on foot walking around meeting people, this is the Tokyo I saw very often. It was warm, with smiling faces, friendly merchants, giggling school girls, grinning grandmas, good feelings.

I loved Japan. I still love it. The Japanese people I met were more than kind to me, they were embracing. It's a beautiful place for a thousand reasons. I had to write a novel about Japan--and I hope when the book comes out that those who read it get a similar sense of wonder. My goal was to take readers on a virtual trip to the islands of the rising sun, tell them a story, and let them dream. I hope I succeeded, even in a small measure.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Twinkies Go Bankrupt (and why a writer should read)

So, I just read this news story. "Twinkies Go Bankrupt." How terrible is that? People, people, people. Get off your duffs and go buy some Hostess Snack Cakes and let's prop up this important icon of American buisness. This should not be allowed to happen!

Snack Cakers of the world, take action!

I found a recipe this week for a tiramisu made from Twinkies. She left out the coffee (putting in only chocolate syrup) and called it White Trash Tiramisu.

How happy is that?

Very. And if we all went and made one of these tasty treats RIGHT NOW, maybe we can save Twinkies.

It's our American duty.

Now I'm going to stop surfing the internet for these important updates and get back to work on reading this fantastic novel my friend Colleen recommended, Juliet by Anne Fortier. I lovvvvvve it. You should click on the link and just read the blurb. Soooo well done. And I have to read it, I tell myself, because reading is one of the most important things a writer can do. If we don't read and all we ever do is write write write, we start thinking our writing is too fabulous. If we read too much and never write, then we start thinking our writing is too lame. Gotta have that good balance. So, happy reading weekend to me!

Friday, January 27, 2012

National Chocolate Cake Day and an Ironic Argument

Celebrate, people! It's one of the best days of the year. It's National Chocolate Cake Day! What could be better? Valentine's Day? I say not--because on V-day you have to wait for someone else to give you the chocolate, and there are issues and implications and heaviness and sometimes pouting or martyrdom connected to the chocolate giving/receiving.

Not so on National Chocolate Cake Day. Let's all just get along, and share the cake. Is it best with a glass of milk? Or will a scoop of ice cream on the side do? Sigh. I love it. And the frosting must be equal to the cake, I say. Frosting snobs, UNITE! Only the best for MY chocolate cake.

Kind of reminds me of when my oldest was a wee babe in arms and I had a package of Pampers from a baby shower with me on a vacation and my aunt (who still had a babe in arms, that's just how it is in families of Mormons, get over it) teased me about the expensive name brand diapers, "Oh! Pampers, huh? Because nothing is too good for my baby's bottom." Me? I answered. The world's biggest cheapskate? I'd buy diapers at yard sales if I could.

Anyhow, that maxim DOES apply to chocolate cake. Only the RIGHT frosting will do.

Does frosting have nutrients? If you use real butter, there's vitamin E. If you use milk, there's a dash of calcium. Man, it's almost health food.

No iron, though. Not even in the powdered sugar.

Which brings me to a different point about iron, I mean, IRONY. I keep being told that a lot of people don't get what irony is, and I've heard many complaints directed at that angsty Canadian singer (forgot her name right now) who sang "Isn't it Ironic" about rain on her wedding day, the complaint being that she misdiagnosed irony, thereby leading astray a generation of literary illiterates. I don't know. I never listened that closely to the song. I think I was in Japan when it was popular, or giving birth or something that kept me from enjoying the tunes on the radio.

My husband, who will be footing the bill for date night's dessert tonight (dare you venture a guess?), and I have been in a bit of an argument about irony this week. More of a debate, really.

So. We both were asked to speak in church on Sunday, and somehow he worked in the topic of pets, that we have been given the ability to choose for ourselves, and all consequences aren't immediate and God could make us obey if he wanted to, but he allows some consequences to come later, which makes us His children, not his pets, and so on and so forth.

It was quite interesting. I could even listen to his ideas, since my talk was already over and I could breathe and uncross my eyes, and stuff.

Anyway, the closing song was "Know This That Every Soul is Free," which includes this verse:

Freedom and reason make us men;
Take these away, what are we then?
Mere animals and just as well
The beasts may think of heaven or hell.

When that line about animals came up, we looked at each other in surprise. Hey, that's just what he was saying in his talk!

Later he said, "Wasn't that ironic?" and I said, no. Not ironic. Coincidental. And he said, Nuh-uh, ironic. And I said, Nuh-uh, coincidental.

Or was it?

I'm not sure.

Later, I noticed another aspect to the meeting. My dear friend the veterinarian, who had never been to our church before, had come to listen, and she has a super soft heart toward all creatures canine. In the process heard my husband's tangential points about shock collars, and why it's nice that God doesn't zap us when we make bad choices like a shock collar. Yeah, all the shocking discussion about shock collars. In front of our cute little vet. That seemed ironic to me.

Or was it?

I think it's going to take TWO pieces of chocolate cake to sort it out.

Chocolate Cake
Got this from a site called "Chocolate Cake Party" -- Excellent!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More Evidence of Karma's Reality (and caramels' reality)

So, twice in the past few weeks, I've had guest bloggers on this site. Wellll, that "law of the harvest" has come to fruition, because guess who's the guest blogger now?

Jolly Fish Press asked me to write a post for their blog site, Jolly Fish Talk, on the topic of how to tell a love story using action and humor. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it!

Meanwhile, there are still about three bags of "neighbor gift" caramels languishing in my cupboard that I never got around to delivering to the neighbors. You know the idiom "burning a hole in his pocket?" Well, those caramels are burning a hole in my resolve. They're so fabulous. I can hear them calling to me in the middle of the night, like in that fairy tale about the Teensy Tiny Woman, who stole the bone from the teensy tiny graveyard and then kept hearing the voice saying, "Give me my bone!" only excepting I don't hear those words, I hear, "Eat me!" like in Alice in Wonderland instead.

Will I resist? Will I feed them to the company we're having tomorrow night? Or will I give in and devour them like the demon calls? ....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Continuous Food Shoveling! & Great Kid Brainstorming

Well, I'm starting to believe that the secret to being the mom of a teenage boy is, when he has friends over for a friendly game (the 9-hour kind that only teen boys appreciate), just keep shoveling food in their direction.

This is the second Saturday in a row when the boys have decorated the living room with game pieces, England attacking Germany, Japan attacking Russia, etc. So far I've placed bowl after bowl of treats before them. Bags of pretzels, Chex snack mix, Eegee's strawberry slush, bean and cheese burritos, a cheese ball and 2 kinds of crackers, a pitcher of strawberry Kool-Aid, half a dozen oranges, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, a pan of brownies. Probably some other stuff I forgot. A minute ago I ripped open a bag of tortilla chips and poured salsa from a jar into a bowl. They fell on it like starving hyenas.


Well, considering I've eaten nearly an entire box of Great Value Vanilla Almond Awake dry cereal back here in my lair while they've been The Locusts of the Living Room, it's a sign that it's genetic for at least one child.

I'm new to this mom-of-a-teen thing.

However, I have to say how amazing my teen boy is. And his brother and sisters. We had a road trip to grandma's yesterday, and on the way home I was getting punchy. They started asking me about my latest novel, and they insisted on hearing the entire plot from start to finish. Bless them! They kept asking for more for the full two hour drive. It made me go through what I've written, made me remember what scenes are exciting, which ones aren't, and which characters start out seeming important but fade sadly (and probably need to be cut.)

THEN, they gave me suggestions about the best way to get the motorcycle off the bottom of the Havana Bay (in 1788). And they were good ideas! Plus, the second son had a hilarious idea for one of the other scenes. I think it will become iconic WHEN my current book becomes a bestseller and a summer blockbuster movie. (Dream big, always dream big.)

It's probably the neatest thing EVER to be a mom. I really feel lucky and blessed to have these hilarious and brilliant children in my life. They're the best.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BIG Cheese is the New Chocolate & Overwhelming Encouragement!

I now have not one but TWO whole horns of Colby cheddar on the top shelf of my refrigerator. If the Great Famine hits this week, we're in the cheese.

My friend Emily says she does a ton of pressure canning, cans all her meat because she wants to save room in her freezer for more important things: like cheese.

I can't say I disagree.

These two horns should last us a couple of months. Well, they'd better. Otherwise, it might be that we're eating too much cheese. (Is there such a thing? My 4yo eats almost nothing besides cheese. The occasional half a Dum-Dum sucker. And cheese. That's it.)

So, anyway, I was at the library today chatting with the very stylish librarian (don't remember her name, dangit). She'd heard about my upcoming book somehow and mentioned she'd always kind of wanted to write a book. Ever since she moved from the city to our smallish town, she's wanted to write a humorous story on a similar vein.

When I hear this kind of thing, my world lights up! I love to hear about people who are wanting to get into writing! Seriously, I get silly with excitement. It's a little overwhelming for the unsuspecting person who shared, I'm sure, but I can't help but go a little berserk.

"Oh! You really should!" I said.

She hemmed and hawed. "Oh, I work in a library. I know how many books there are out there. Anything I'd write has already been done, and better than I could do it."

"Not so!" I cried. "Your story is yours. Just write one chapter! See how it makes you feel. If you love it, keep going!"

At that point, the 4yo dragged me over to the fish aquarium, I'm sure to the relief of the librarian. But I have to echo this same thing here to all who have a dream of writing. Put some words on the page! That's really the essence of what all writers do. They may have to be imperfect the first few times, but I like what (I think it was) Jack London said: "I'm a terrible writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." (Or thereabouts.)

I'm writing terribly a lot this week. The first draft is back underway from my NaNo novel. I'm glad I let it percolate for a month because there are a few really great connections between characters, as well as motivations, that are popping to mind. It's fun to see where this might eventually go.

When I rewrite it five or six times!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Congrats to Totally Tina! & The Chocolate Party

Congratulations to Totally Tina Scott on winning the Mormon Mommy Writers blog contest. She's the winner of the delicious assortment of Japanese chocolate AND a signed copy of my Coming-Soon book BIG IN JAPAN, due out July 21st in hardcover. Tina is a great writer and artist. In fact I have two of her books on my shelf right now. My kids were reading her book COYOTE'S GRAND ADVENTURE just yesterday. It's a favorite!

Thanks for playing! And a big thanks to Megan Oliphant over at Mormon Mommy Writers for featuring me in their Anniversary contest! Good times, ladies.

In the background I am listening to the screams of my daughter's 7th birthday party (I'm hiding. How awful am I on a scale of 1-10? It's just for a sec, I promise.) We're having a CHOCOLATE PARTY (her request. More evidence I'm a good parent.) They're done dipping fruit and pretzels and marshmallows on skewers and are ready to play "Pin the Oreo Top on the Oreo" with the construction paper Oreos the birthday girl made. Then it's time to make the Chocolate Boxes! Very fun. Verrrrry messy. What was I thinking. Oops. Disaster. Chocolate covered strawberry-marshmallow on the carpet! Dash!

Chocolate Boxes photo

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

MMW Giveaway!

I want to extend a big welcome to all the Mormon Mommy Writers Readers who are visiting this blog today. Mmmwah! Glad to see you. Grab a piece of candy, pop it in your mouth and join the sugar rush going on over here day in and day out.

Over on Mormon Mommy Writers my awesome friend (who writes like a DREAM) Megan Oliphant has interviewed me about writing and about my new upcoming book Big in Japan, how it came to be, and a little bit about what it was like to get inside the head of a six-foot-six hefty blond sumo wrestler--even though I'm a short brunette who NEVER goes out in just a diaper. It was a really fun interview to do.

And now, for the BEST part. Along with her interview, there is (drumroll, please) a GIVEAWAY. I know how we all love a giveaway. Follow the rules posted on MMW, and you can enter to win a selection of awesome Japanese candies AND a signed copy of Big in Japan as soon as it is released.


And when will that be, you ask? I got an email from Jolly Fish Press, my publisher, and they have moved up the release date from fall to JULY 21st!

Yee haw. The world has barely 6 months left to wait to read its very first (and will it be a last and only as well? We'll see!) sumo wrestler love story!

Here's the blurb I like to share, the "elevator pitch," if you will.

24 year-old Buck is a big fat nobody until he goes to Japan and accidentally becomes the first blond sumo wrestler. There he has to win the Emperor's Cup and save the girl.

Now, be honest with yourself. Haven't you always subconsciously been waiting for a story just like this? Haha. Me too.

Go enter! Win!
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